The America’s Cup lands in Valencia

Posted on 23 December 2011 by Valencia Sailing

It wasn’t scheduled to take place but it did. The cargo ship HR Constitution left San Diego a month ago carrying the entire America’s Cup circus, minus Oracle Racing, Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand, and headed to Naples, the next venue of the America’s Cup World Series. A number of teams, including Artemis Racing and Green Comm Racing, had expressed their interest in having a brief stopover in Valencia in order to offload their containers and boats and take advantage of the three-month hiatus by carrying out winter training sessions in the venue of the 32nd and 33rd America’s Cups.

It turned out that HR Constitution brought Valencia much more Christmas gifts than expected. The cargo ship arrived in Valencia on Tuesday, docked on Wednesday and offloaded a total of 104 containers, belonging to America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM) and six teams, Green Comm Racing, Artemis Racing, Team Korea, Aleph, Team Energy and China Team. Then on Thursday it was the turn of close to 30 boats, tenders and racing yachts to be offloaded.

There are now six AC45 yachts in Valencia, four of them with their platforms assembled (Green Comm Racing, Artemis, Team Korea and Aleph) while the remaining two (Energy and China Team) are in their respective containers.

In regards to the team schedules for the next three months, it is clear that Artemis and Green Comm will spend long hours off the Malvarosa beach, practicing with their AC45′s. It is the most obvious option since they both are “Valencian” in one way or another.

The Artemis Racing AC45 yacht being offloaded. Valencia, 22 December 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Artemis actually have two bases here. The first one belonged to Areva Challenge in the 32nd America’s Cup and is located right inside Port America’s Cup while the second one is in the small city of Sagunto, 20km to the north (click here for a view on Google maps). It was designed to become a mega-yacht boatyard and repair shop but the project never took off and its owners went bankrupt. Given the immensity and complex logistics and handling of an AC72 yacht and her wing, it is probably the ideal one with plenty of empty space around an immense hangar. In addition, unlike Valencia’s darsena, access to the Mediterranean is much simpler and direct.

The platform of the modified ORMA60 trimaran is currently sitting in front of the hangar, most probably waiting for her wing to arrive from the Future Fibres factory, a few kilometers inland. I guess it will not be long before we see her sailing off the Valencia coast.

The Green Comm Racing AC45 yacht being offloaded. Valencia, 22 December 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Green Comm Racing challenges for the 34th America’s Cup representing the Real Club Náutico Valencia, so it is the home team. After a well-deserved holiday break, the team will regroup during the second week of January in order to train for approximately two months on home waters. With the Naples event starting on April 7th, the entire America’s Cup “army” should leave Valencia no later than mid March. Regarding the other four teams in Valencia, VSail.info has no information as to what plans they have or whether they will indeed train here.

As for the remaining three teams, Oracle Racing should have their four AC45 yachts in San Francisco while the Emirates Team New Zealand – Luna Rossa “joint venture” will be spending a couple of months in kiwi summer, training together and working on their AC72 sister yachts.

The Green Comm Racing, Team Korea and Aleph AC45 yachts, ready to be offloaded. Valencia, 22 December 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

The Team Korea AC45 yacht being offloaded. Valencia, 22 December 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

The Aleph AC45 yacht being offloaded. Valencia, 22 December 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

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